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How to organize heat shrink tubing?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Michael, Aug 10, 2007.

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  1. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Hi there - we have piles and piles of ~1 meter long chunks of heat
    shrink tubing, of all sorts of sizes and shapes and colors. Right now
    it's all thrown in a cabinet and is a complete mess.

    Any suggestions for organizing this stuff?


  2. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Put it in the oven for a while. That will make it smaller and much
    easier to store.

  3. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Sno-o-o-o-ort! Fortunately I had completely swallowed my coffee
    before I read that... otherwise I'd be changing keyboards AGAIN ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  4. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    You might have to make a decision: do you want them sorted by size, or
    by color? Then, once you've decided, then you can go to either colors
    within a size group or sizes within a color group. I've even seen bins
    of heat-shrink where each color was a different size. (Or each size was
    a different color, I'm not sure how they catalogued them.)

    As far as storage, get a box with multiple chambers, like an egg-
    crate separator or so, and just stack them up. Or you could save a bunch
    of paper towel tubes and tape them together to hold your bundles of

    Good Luck!

  5. Mailing tubes, cut to various lengths. I prefer six inch intervals.
    Anything between tube lengths goes in the next shorter length. Look in
    the short tubes first, and work your way up so you don't have dozens of
    short pieces of the same type and color. Its worked ell for me, for
    over a decade.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  6. whit3rd

    whit3rd Guest

    Well, the big supply goes in the closet and you shut the door.
    A small supply lives next to the soldering station, tucked into
    a tasteful tall vase (well, actually mine is in a lab-surplus
    cylinder...). A second small supply lives in a ziploc bag in the tool

    When a vase-resident stem gets too short, that piece is retired
    to the ziploc bag.
  7. Ink Maker

    Ink Maker Guest

    Keep only what you need and sell the rest in eBay.

    Torrey Hills Technologies, LLC.
  8. PeterD

    PeterD Guest

    Sort by size...

    No, wait:

    Sort by size first, then color...

    No, wait:

    Sort by type first, then size, then color...

    No, wait:

    Sort by color, then size, then type.

    No, wait:

    throw them all in a cabinet and jsut grab what you need when you need
    it. Works for me.
  9. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Admittedly, the last time I saw heatshrink organized _at all_ was at the
    local electronics store. :)

    [I was trying to be tongue-in-cheek with my answer, but I guess my humour
    isn't as funny to other people as it is to me. )-; ]
  10. A row of nails along a shelf edge, or other convenient woodwork, with
    bundles of the tubing suspended from them by loops of elastic bands.
    Easy to reach out and grab what you want.
  11. Leon

    Leon Guest

    Save even more space by putting the smaller tubing inside the larger

  12. Guy Macon

    Guy Macon Guest

    Exactly the system I use! I used PVC pipe with PVC endcaps.
    I don't think I ever mentioned this before, but I should have.
    I for one really appreciate what you have done for our country.
    Thank you.
  13. Winfield

    Winfield Guest

    Me too. Hear Hear.

  14. There are not only different colors of shrink tubing, there are
    different types as well.

    There are types that have heat activated adhesives inside, and there
    are dual layer High Voltage types... the list goes on.

    If you are sure that they are all of the same type, you need not
    pre-classify them by type. Size is all you need. Even with the
    different colors for a given size in the same "bin", you will find that
    choosing the right piece needed based on size is easy, and choosing the
    right color is a decision you make before you even approach the lot.

    If they are, however, of different types as well, the problem
    magnifies, because without them having been marked as to type, it will
    not be easy for someone not using them constantly to tell one type from
    another, unless you are a person that pays attention to such details all
    the time.
  15. Michael

    Michael Guest

    Hi John - though a valid suggestion - After the ovening, I would still
    be left with the problem of having lots of long tubing to organize -
    so I think the problem at topic would still persist.

  16. Heat the tubing first.
    The storage room needed will be a lot less.

    Many thanks,

    Don Lancaster voice phone: (928)428-4073
    Synergetics 3860 West First Street Box 809 Thatcher, AZ 85552
    rss: email:

    Please visit my GURU's LAIR web site at
  17. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?

  18. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    If you really did this, the heat-shrink would already be shrunk, and so
    it wouldn't be any use as heat-shrink again. Albeit, hot heatshrink
    is pretty limp and plastic, so could conceivably be used in lieu of
    spaghetti tubing, but I believe that John has merely been having a bit
    of fun with us here. :)

  19. I think it was a serious suggestion. There was nothing in the
    requirements about having to use it for anything.. just storage.

    Best regards,
    Spehro Pefhany
  20. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Come on! Michael and I can't be the _only_ vets who frequent this
    NG, can we?

    (I have a 214 on record somewhere, and two, count'em, two Honorable
    Discharges - I got out in '72, but then re-upped for the bennies. ;-) )

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